Our Rating: 4 stars

The Red Flower brand, when I checked out its site, seemed far too new-agey for grumpy, elderly me – lots of talk about ritual and world traditions and the kind of all-lower-case cuteness that ordinarily drives me mad. But the Red Flower Bioactive Berry White Peat Exfoliant ($66) sent to me for trial by TIA is delightful. I’ve not only enjoyed the experience of using it; I’ve liked the results as well.

I should note that I’m a huge fan of body scrubs in general and always have something on the ledge of the bath or shower to keep my rather dry skin in good condition. Though the product is labeled a face and body exfoliant, this to me is a body treatment (both too coarse and too oily for use on the face) – but one that really adds to my enjoyment of my shower. Red Flower apparently started by selling scented candles and the like; I’ve never understood the appeal of all that smelly stuff but realize that I’m probably alone in that. So when I opened up the rather substantial (14.5 oz) jar, I realized that scent is a big part of the product’s appeal. I don’t even like scented products and usually comment favorably when a product is unscented – but this stuff smells great, and real. Not artificial, not overwhelming, not too sweet or flowery, but just a bit floral and a bit minty. It’s lovely and bracing and somehow luxurious at the same time.

The texture is, well, as gloppy as you’d expect, sort of a loose white-ish/yellow cream, visibility dotted with strawberry and blueberry seeds, which I assume provide some of the “scrub” effect. The top ingredients are sea salts (though it doesn’t feel abrasive) and white peat extract, and aloe and seaweed extract are also prominent. White peat extract, by the way, is (according to a Google search) used for its anti-aging, antioxidant, moisturizing, and soothing properties. Notably this scrub is a bit oilier than most I’ve used (I note jojoba, geranium, and spearmint oils), but for me, with dry skin, that is part of the appeal; and it’s certainly not greasy.

The ingredients list is attractively short and comprehensible. Among its natural bona fides, the site says of its ingredients: “certified organic ingredients sourced from Finland.”

I’ve been using the product almost every time I shower, scrubbing either with hands, with a firm back brush, or with a coarsely woven Japanese wash cloth. It leaves my skin smooth and polished, and more moisturized – a great prep for body lotion. It has been a perfect treat for summer (in fact I thought of Marta’s July post on summer-ready legs): a boon to exposed arms and legs at this time of the year.

At $66 for 14.5 ounces, this product is expensive (comparable to luxury spa and specialty store products) – or perhaps priced in accordance with the high-end vibe the brand is looking to project. For that reason I can’t truthfully promise I’ll be buying it again. However, I think it would make a lovely, indulgent gift for a friend, and I think almost anyone would enjoy using it.

Ingredients: Sea Minerals (Organic Maris Sal), Water (Aqua), White Peat Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Cocos Nucifera), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract (Aloe Barbadensis), Vegetable Wax, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (Aloe Barbadensis), Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Jojoba Oil (Certified Organic, Simmondsia Chinensis), Vegetable Glycerin, Honey (Certified Organic), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Fragaria Vasca (Strawberry) Seed (Fragaria Vesca), Blueberry (Vaccinium Corymbosum) Seed (Vaccinium Angustifolium), Citric Acid, Geranium Maculatum (Geranium) Oil (Pelargonium Graveolens), Spearmint (Mentha Viridis) Oil (Mentah Viridis)